After scraping hard balls of dust and booger out of my nose it’s time to reflect on Groezrock 2012. The first year with an acoustic stage, the return of Refused, Good Riddance, Lifetime, Verse and the year that people were willing to stand in line for an hour and a half to eat a vegan burger.
Since I’ve experienced Groezrock from that far off place called the festival market I won’t and can’t bother you with extensive reviews on all the bands that played this year’s edition. If you went to Groezrock you’re more than welcome to comment your highlights or negative experiences below.
- The acoustic stage was a welcome edition. The turnout was very good and Dave Hause, Chuck Ragan and others did a good job. My highlight was Tom Gabel singing Against Me!’s ‘ White Crosses’. I was taking a piss at the back of the festival market and I could hear hundreds of people sing along.
- I got to see Lifetime and the band lived up to my expectations. Ari Katz’ voice worked out fine enough in the big tent. Dan Yemin was great as always making clear why Lifetime played the Etnies stage and not on the main stage: ‘we only wanted to play this stage because there are no barriers. The stage is yours as much as it it ours.’
- Good Riddance. They were nervous about their show and rehearsed somewhere in Belgium the day before they were scheduled to play. But damn they did a good job rocking the main stage. I’ve been into this band since ’96 and know some of their members pretty well, so yes it was a special moment to see them return to form.
- Make Do And Mend handled the Impericon stage pretty well. Though the back up vocals of their new bass player were really off key.
- Midnight Souls. The band got added on the MacBeth stage at last minute but impressed everyone with a great performance. Rumor has it they’ll be playing the Etnies stage in 2013.
- Hostage Calm. They’re a bit of a light weight band to play the Etnies stage but it was a good change of pace and atmosphere.
- PJ Bond and Mark McGabe setting up an acoustic flash mob gathering in the band merch tent. It’s part of the charm of Groezrock that things like that can happen.
- Gorilla Biscuits. I think I don’t have to explain it when you see this:
- For years people have been talking about how Rancid would be a great headliner for Groezrock. Well they eventually came over and according to Sjarm 13 played the best show ever.
- A group of criminals who go to Groezrock to make a profit by stealing from kids sleeping in their tents or on the festival site. Or kids trying to steal stuff at the festival market.
- People walking around in banana outfits. When you ask them why they don’t even understand why one asks such a question. A smart guy would suggest they ran out of pineapple outfits.
- The sound of some bands playing on the main stage was very bad. I understand it’s hard to have a good sound at any place in such a big tent but next year Groezrock should try harder. People pay a whole lot of money to hear the bands not to hear some noise.
- Verse. The Etnies stage was packed and people went off. I however missed the anger and energy the band had on stage before their break-up. There was something relaxed and almost ‘jah’ about their performance I couldn’t quite place.
- Refused. I’m sure they were tight and impressive as hell (I didn’t see them play). But if you charge 20 euros for a shirt and get paid a whole amount of money to play, speeches about anti-capitalism are a bit beside the point.
2012 was a very good year for Groezrock. Can they top this edition next year? Maybe if they’re able to get American Nightmare/ Give Up The Ghost, Modern Life Is War, Defeater, The Gaslight Anthem, The Offspring, Kid Dynamite, Sunny Day Real Estate, Ignite, The Explosion, AFI, As Friends Rust, Champion, Green Day and a couple of other bands.